A day after the monsoon set over the entire state, Patnaik chaired a meeting of the state-level Natural Calamity Committee to review the preparedness of different government departments and districts to meet any kind of exigencies.
Odisha is prone to multiple and recurring disasters, especially floods and cyclones. Last year, 24 districts were affected by floods and heavy rain. However, the state managed it successfully, Patnaik said.
For exemplary preparedness and management of disasters, Odisha has been awarded the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Award for 2023 by the Centre, he said.
“The period from June to October is a crucial period for us during which drought, floods, or cyclones may occur. So, we have to review our preparedness at all levels to tackle the possible flood and cyclones. And also we should remain prepared for any other kind of exigencies, Patnaik told officers.
He directed officials to take adequate measures in respect of early warning systems, rescue and relief operations, supply of drinking water, and health and veterinary services. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units and fire services have been put on alert for immediate response at any place any time.
Control rooms in districts and departments will be made functional round the clock. SATARK web and mobile app has been developed to disseminate real-time weather and disaster-related updates. It will act as a single-window platform to communicate location-based information on all disasters to citizens to save precious human lives.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department has been asked to store sufficient quantities of food materials. The Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department will store adequate cattle feed in vulnerable and inaccessible areas. Provision for green fodder and opening of cattle camps during floods must be ensured, he said.
Collectors were instructed to give special attention to vulnerable people like pregnant women, physically and mentally challenged, young children, widows and the elderly during rescue and relief operations.
There should be immediate clearance of relief lines, repair and restoration of lifeline infrastructure and restoration of livelihoods in the aftermath of disasters, he added.
The Chief Minister also recalled the tragic train accident at Bahanaga, Balasore in which about 290 people died and hundreds were injured.
The state responded quickly, rescued the trapped passengers and shifted injured persons to hospitals through a green corridor mobilising hundreds of doctors and paramedics thereby saving thousands of lives, he pointed out.